The Chinese version of the Internet Universality Indicators was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the School of Journalism and Communication of Shanghai International Studies University (SISU). It will facilitate consideration of research and discussions on the Indicators in China by stakeholders (including academia, governments, civil society, the private sector, technical community or the journalism community). It will also enable the consideration of using them to help inform China’s Internet-related policies.
The Internet Universality Indicators are a unique set of 303 indicators designed to assess the state of Internet development at national level. They seek to examine any national Internet environment relative to four major dimensions: Are human Rights enforced on the Internet? Is the Internet Open? Is it equally Accessible to all? Is it governed through Multistakeholder participation?
These four pillars correspond to the ROAM framework of Internet Universality, which UNESCO stands for in the digital age: a Rights-based, Open, Accessible Internet governed through Multistakeholder cooperation.
Complementing the Indicators based on the ROAM principles is additional set of five key crosscutting issues (X) – gender equality, the specific needs of children, sustainable development, trust and security, as well as legal and ethical aspects of the Internet. Together with contextual indicators, these sections form the “ROAM-X Indicators”.
The Indicators were developed over a three-year process of global and inclusive consultations with stakeholders. In November 2018, the 31st Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) “endorsed the use of this tool on a voluntary basis as a useful resource available for Member States”; and “encouraged interested Member States and all stakeholders, on a voluntary basis, to support and conduct national assessments of Internet development with the Internet Universality Indicators”.
Since this key decision, UNESCO has been working with stakeholders from above 25 countries to implement national assessments of Internet development using the Indicators. 11 countries are expected to complete the assessment in 2019-2020, with the assessment report to be published by a newly created UNESCO Series on the Internet Universality Indicators National Assessment.
UNESCO welcomes expressions of interest on the part of stakeholders wishing to conduct assessments of Internet development in their country using the Indicators.